(featured design by Farida Radwan)

Last year, we wrote about injustice and social issues, caught in the midst of violent Black Lives Matter actions and tuition hike protests during end-of-term celebrations and final exams. These battles have raged forth into 2015, a year of progress, terror, love, uncertainty, and action. This was the year policymakers envisioned reaching and then took enormous leaps of faith in a last-ditch attempt to fulfill the eight Millennium Goals.

In Berkeley, students and community members stood up for workers’ rights, refugees and undocumented immigrants, and climate change action; and spoke out against hate crime, sexual harassment, and air conditioning that worked too well. We watched in horror as a fourth-floor balcony collapsed beneath our weight, and in fascination as Lower Sproul construction accelerated to (almost) meet its fall deadline. And, being Berkeley students, many of us studied on.

As always, here are the records that stood out among a strong cohort, selected by yours truly. Happy new year!

— Joanna, Editor-in-Chief


JOANNA, editor-in-chief

In alphabetical order:

Arca — Mutant (Mute)
Ben Frost — A U R O R A (Mute)
Bomba Estéreo — Amanecer (Sony)
Chistopher Bissonnette — Pitch, Paper, & Foil (Kranky)
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld — Never Were the Way She Was (Constellation)
The Garden — haha (Epitaph)
Gossamer — Automation (Innovative Leisure)
Jamie xx — In Colour (Young Turks)
Max Cooper and Tom Hodge — Artefact EP (FIELDS)
Neon Indian — VEGA INTL. Night School (Mom + Pop)
Princess Century — Progress (Paper Bag)
San Francisco Symphony & St. Lawrence String Quartet — Adams: Absolute Jest & Grand Pianola Music (San Francisco Symphony)
Sannhet — Revisionist (The Flenser)
ttwwrrss — ttwwrrss_2 (Maisonneuve Music)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra — Multi-Love (JAGJAGUWAR)


LEKA, editor

In no particular order:

Drake // If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Purity Ring // another eternity
Kendrick Lamar // To Pimp a Butterfly
San Fermin // Jackrabbit
Best Coast // California Nights
Carly Rae Jensen // E•MO•TION
fka twigs // m3ll155x
Beach House // Depression Cherry
Lana Del Rey // Honeymoon
CHVRCHES // Every Open Eye
Joanna Newsom // Divers (review)
eskimeaux // O.K.
Hop Along // Painted Shut
Say Hi // Bleeders Digest
… also special shoutouts to Justin Bieber’s Sorry


MATT, writer

The Best Things

1. kendrick scream
2. that keyboard part in “should have known better”
3. the internet (the band and the thing)
4. unknown mortal orchestra
5. saint west
6. beach house
7. beach house
8. earl sweatshirt’s album was so good
9. anything grimes does
10. whatever it is that oneohtrix point never does

… and here’s a handful of under-hyped albums i thought deserved more attention + praise:

a. Maalem Mahmoud Guinia — marhaba
b. Ash Koosha — Guud
c. Spencer Radcliffee — Looking In
d. A Sunny Day in Glasgow — Planning Weed Like It’s Acid
e. Ricky Eat Acid — Mixtape
f. Jessica Pratt — On Your Own Love Again
g. The Coneheads — L.P.1 aka…
h. katie dey — asdfasdf

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